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Title:Mary Gorski "takes five with friends"
Date:Saturday March 22nd, 2008
Author:Mad City Veteran: Mary Gorski
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Mary Gorski "takes five with friends"

How does that old song go? "In your Easter bonnet, with a foot of snow upon it..."

On an Easter weekend when most of us are trading our bonnets for a wool toque, a bunch of us enjoyed the Good Friday 50K on the Mad City 100K course along the shores of Lake Wingra in Madison, WI.

No, wait, make that the Better On Saturday 50K on the Mad City 100K course along the shores of Lake Wingra. Good God, what happened to spring in southern Wisconsin on Good Friday, the first full day of spring? Most of my Good Friday was spent doing an upper body workout -- shoveling over a foot of heavy, wet snow.

With driving too treacherous on Friday to consider the 90-mile trip from Milwaukee to Madison, and winds and snow making running more of a drudgery than a delight, the Good Friday 50K was postponed to Saturday. Unfortunately, this meant a schedule clash for several of our original runners, but on the other hand, several people who couldn't join us on Friday could come for a few loops on Saturday.

The idea for the Good Friday 50K had nothing to do with commemorating the crucifixion (though long runs often do involve a bit of pain and suffering) and everything to do with preparing for the Mad City 100K. Mad City is scheduled for April 12. In preparation for it, I had hoped to do a 50K three weeks prior. Out came the calendar. Using my personal digital device (my index finger) I counted back three weeks -- March 22. Any 50Ks near Milwaukee on Easter weekend?

Alas, not! Time to improvise. And thus, the Good Friday-Better on Saturday 50K.

Meeting at the unplowed Vilas Park parking lot, sliding our cars into foot-deep snow, about 20 of us started shortly after 8 am. The Mad City course is a well-used 10K loop that frequently is a part of local races in Madison. In fact, there are even mile makers on the course named for running greats from the city. For the race, 100K runners will do 10 loops (yes, I can do higher math -- 10x10 = 100). My hope was to do five for the 50K. A few others had similar plans but most were there just to run a couple of loops and then eat cookies. What was nice for us 50K runners is that those who came to run just a couple of loops scattered their start times. Some ran their first loops at the beginning. Some came a bit later. And some simply bumped into us along the way and latched on. I was Forest Gump for a day.

Conditions were much better than they would have been on the Kettle Moraine trails with the heavy, wet snow. Plows had gone through most of the course, though a hard, thin coating of snow remained in many spots making for icy running at first. I wore my screwed shoes for most loops (Thanks again, Jim Blanchard!). Others wore Yaks.

But you know how fickle Mother Nature can be, changing her mind from moment to moment. Halfway through, the temps had warmed to the mid-30s. With the sun and the warmth, ice soon turned to slush. Ann Heaslett splashed me!

Nature sightings were good. We stood under a tree and watched a large hawk poop. Several turkeys (the feathered kind, not the ones among our running group) cheered us in the Arboretum. A bunny (the Easter Bunny?) bounced by while I was making a pit stop in the woods.

A relaxed training run -- not even a race of Fat A** standards -- we generally re-grouped at the end of each loop, nibbling on cookies and Easter candy, saying good-bye to those leaving us and welcoming those joining us. Timo Yanacheck, RD of the 100k, brought us hot soup mid-way through the loops.

A wonderful day running. Many thanks to the people who joined us throughout the 50K. Perhaps we will convert a few of you into ultrarunners... remember, resistance is futile, we will assimilate you... :)

Happy March Madness, Happy Easter, Happy Spring!

Mary Gorski
[email protected]
Milwaukee, WI
Posted:March 24th, 2008 9:30 am
Last Update:March 13th, 2011 5:53 pm
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